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The perfect equipment to Rocket record your shows

From The Rocket Team on Dec. 13, 2018

Rocket Studio was made to make multi-camera recordings as easy as possible. On the D-Day, the key piece is to have the right equipment to be prepared to face all the situations. This article touches on how we, at Rocket, managed to shoot the Solidays 2018 Arat Kilo concert.

Choosing the number of video cameras

For this concert, and given the size of the stage, the number of musicians and the nature of Arat's music, we decided that at 5 cameras would do it.

Now that you've decided what to capture, let's focus on the installation.

Installing the video cameras

This is by far the most difficult part. You cannot always afford to add dedicated stands on stage (it's too small, people are moving too much, or your setup would be bothersome for the audience, etc.). At Rocket we try to rely on the existing structures on stage as much as we can so we can be as transparent as possible. But this means you need to be able to attach your cameras in a wide range of situations, and you need the right tools to do so.

Using a tripod

There are plenty of products avalaible on the market with a wide range of prices. A quick search for "Flexible Tripod" on your favorite market place will give you an extensive list of candidates.

We opted for this one, available at around €25 a couple months ago:

We used it for the left and right camera shots. The advantage that you get using a tripod is that it can be installed almost everywhere using the room equipment, but it's sometimes difficult to secure properly. Believe it or not, it takes a bit of trial and errors to understand what you can truly do with these. You also need to consider the additional settings your tripod can provide. The ones we use have a hinging that allow us to securely install the tripod while still being able to compensate the orientation afterwards.

Using a clamp

For the drummer shot, we used this clamp, available at around €13:

The clamp is very useful to install cameras on structures that have small diameter metal bars such as mike stands or lighting structures. Once installed it will not move and so is more secure than the tripod. We tend to use this as much as we can. Again, note the hinging that allows you to set the orientation after the clamp is installed. But beware! Not every mike stand you'll find on stage is a good candidate to put a camera on. Some stands will get a good deal of vibrations depending on their location on stage (did someone said drums overhead stands? not to mention cymbal stands...)

Holding the camera

Finally, to hold the camera, we used a smartphone holder, available at around €10 :

Again, plenty of models everywhere. What was important in our decision was the additional orientation capabilities. This one is very versatile and yet it can tightly lock your phone in position. When trying to adjust precisely your footage angle this is most valuable.

Handling moving shots

For those who want to add moving footage, a gimbal is what your are looking for.

We used a product from a French Startup (Qantik) for the singers shot, available at around €150:

If you never tried one of these before: it's truly worth it.

Recording the sound

The whole installation would not make any sense if we were not able to take care of the sound. This is music we are talking about after all.

Rocket Studio allows you to record an audio track. The easiest way to do so is to get a stereo output from the mixing console via a USB audio interface.

We use a product from IK Multimedia, the iRig pro duo:

Just take some time to discuss with the sound engineer and adjust your levels as this is a sensitive beast and you don't want to saturate your inputs.

Preparing your phones

Last but not least, the phones.

From the very start of the Rocket Studio adventure, we tried to make the solution working on affordable devices. Of course more recent phones will give better results.

For the Arat Kilo concert we used:

Note that recording video will drain you battery and use data storage. Make sure to have a fully charged battery and, depending on the duration of your recording, a few gigabytes of storage available each smartphone (something like 8GB per hour of recording).

Long story short, your must-have equipment to record a concert using Rocket Studio is:

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